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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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News

WRRDA Overwhelmingly Passes in House & Senate

May 24, 2014
Moves to President’s Desk for Signature This week, both the House – by a vote of 412-4 – and the Senate – by a vote of 91-7 – approved the final Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). Most notably, the bill would authorize 34 new construction projects, while deauthorizing about $18 billion-worth of projects that have remained on the books for years without any action. To view the projects authorized, go to page 176 of the bill.  AGC actively advocated for this bill throughout the legislative process in both the House and Senate for the last several years. AGC members generated hundreds of letters urging their representative and senators to support the bill. The bill incorporates a number of AGC priorities that the association has consistently advocated for throughout this process, including:
  • Establishing a sound procedure for authorizing new, high priority projects while deauthorizing obsolete ones;
  • Expending the full amount of revenues generated by the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for harbor maintenance. The bill would do so by FY 2025 through gradually increasing the annual percentage spent on actual harbor maintenance;
  • Allowing more Inland Waterway Trust Fund revenues (about $100 million annually) to pay for projects aside from Olmsted Lock and Dam;
  • Improving the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) by including flexible in its loan terms, allowing lower interest rates, principle forgiveness, and extended repayment periods of 30 years. For more details, click here.
  • Creating a public-private partnership pilot program that will allow the USACE to leverage government funds with private dollars on public works under its jurisdiction;
  • Streamlining the project review process under the “3x3x3” program, which limits feasibility studies to 3 years and $3 million, while requiring the three levels of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)—District, Division and Headquarters—to concurrently conduct reviews of such studies; and
  • Limiting the time environmental claims could be filed on water resources projects’ environmental impact statements from 6 to 3 years.
AGC will work closely with Congress and USACE to ensure this legislation is implemented properly and effectively for the construction industry. For more information, please contact Jimmy Christianson at (703) 837-5325 or christiansonj@agc.org
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